Episode 220: Jeff Abbott

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In Jeff Abbott’s aptly-named new crime fiction novel An Ambush of Widows, (ambush is the collective noun for widows) two men with no apparent connection to each other are shot and killed in a warehouse in Austin, Texas. Coming from two different directions—literally, philosophically, and socio-economically—their two widows, Kirsten and Flora, must join forces to find… Read more »

Episode 219: Susan Elia MacNeal

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In The Hollywood Spy, the tenth installment in Susan Elia MacNeal’s World War Two-era series featuring spy-code breaker-bomb defuser, Maggie Hope, Maggie has decamped to Hollywood with her close friend Sarah Sanderson, who is going to film a movie choreographed by George Balanchine. It’s a Busman’s Holiday, however, as there are Nazis everywhere. Oh, yes,… Read more »

Episode 218: Hilary Davidson

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As if going to the funeral of your sister—someone from whom you are occasionally estranged—isn’t bad enough, getting a posthumous email from her during the service accusing her now widower, Theo—the scion of the wealthy Thraxton family—of murdering her, is certifiably creepy. So opens Her Last Breath, Hilary Davidson’s latest mystery, for Deirdre Crawley. Secrets and… Read more »

Episode 217: Laurie R. King

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In Castle Shade, Laurie R. King’s 17th Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes crime fiction novel, the couple is asked by Queen Marie of Romania to investigate a threat made against her daughter, which requires Russell and Holmes to travel to Castle Bran in Transylvania. What could go wrong?      

Episode 216: Jean Hanff Korelitz

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Early in Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot, protagonist Jacob Finch Bonner encounters a student in his writing class who claims he has a can’t-miss story. The student was right—sort of. Upon learning of the student’s death—and determining that the book was never written—Jacob, um, appropriates the plot. What could be the harm of using an… Read more »

Episode 215: Ashley Weaver

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Being a professional thief with a skill set that includes safecracking and lock picking does not preclude you from being a patriot, or so protagonist Ellie McDonnell finds out in Ashley Weaver’s A Peculiar Combination,  when she’s asked to ply her trade for Britain’s war effort in World War Two     Photo of Ashley Weaver ©Amelia… Read more »

Episode 214: Mariah Fredericks

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All the World’s a Stage in Death of a Showman, Mariah Fredericks’ fourth installment of her series featuring lady’s maid Jane Prescott. After returning from what can only be called a working trip to Europe with her employers Louise and William Tyler, Jane finds that being involved with a new theatrical production with former beau… Read more »

Episode 213: Jacqueline Winspear

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In The Consequences of Fear, the 16th installment of Jacqueline Winspear’s addictive series featuring detective and frequent intelligence asset Maisie Dobbs, it’s October 1941: Europe has succumbed to Nazi occupation and the outcome of Maisie’s new case, involving a murder that a 12-year-old message-runner witnesses, has the potential to upend the British war effort  … Read more »

Episode 212: Jess Montgomery

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Sheriff Lily Ross returns in The Stills, the third installment of Jess Montgomery’s series that takes place in 1920s Prohibition Era Southeastern Ohio. Trouble is, um, brewing and Lily couldn’t be busier: violations of the Volstead Act are everywhere—Lily’s best friend has rekindled her still; Lily’s own mother is reconstituting dried grapes and letting them… Read more »

Episode 211: Charles Finch

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In An Extravagant Death, Charles Finch—who concluded the prequel trilogy of his protagonist Charles Lenox with 2020’s The Last Passenger—returns Lenox to his current timeline of the late 1870s and takes England’s most famous private detective on a road trip (an ocean voyage, actually) to America. There’s a murder and a wealthy denizen of Gilded… Read more »